Brett Thornell had a pair of RBIs against Texas Tech, both of which scored his younger brother Kyle
Feb. 27, 2014
NACOGDOCHES, Texas - Stephen F. Austin was one out away from a memorable home opener, holding a 4-3 lead on 26th-ranked Texas Tech in the top of the ninth inning. But the Red Raiders connected on a two-RBI double, then withstood a final Lumberjack rally to hand SFA a 5-4 loss at Jaycees Field.
The loss drops SFA to 3-5 on the season with all five defeats coming at the hands of nationally-ranked programs, including one-run defeats to the Red Raiders and 21st-ranked Alabama.
SFA jumped on Texas Tech (8-1) early, scoring a pair of runs in the bottom of the first inning. After a single and a stolen base for leadoff hitter Matthew Dickey, Joseph Olson singled to center to drive him in for the game's first run. Olson then scored after Tech issued a bases loaded walk, giving the `Jacks the 2-0 lead after the first inning.
The Red Raiders responded in the top of the third as Mason Randolph hit a two-run homerun, evening the score at 2-2. It would stay that way until the top of the sixth when Texas Tech's Eric Gutierrez scored on a sacrifice fly, giving the Red Raiders their first lead of the game at 3-2.
SFA answered in the bottom half of the inning as Brett Thornell drove in his younger brother Kyle, knotting the game at 3-3 after six innings. The brotherly duo teamed up once again in the eighth as after a double from Kyle Thornell, Brett notched a single two batters later to give the `Jacks the 4-3 lead.
The `Jacks appeared poised to take another victory over a nationally-ranked team, recording a pair of outs against the Red Raiders in the top of the ninth. But Gutierrez notched a double to left field which scored a pair of Tech runners. SFA threatened in the ninth as Zach Marberry advanced to second with two outs, but a hard hit grounder back to the pitcher sealed the `Jacks fate.
Tyler Wiedenfeld was credited with the loss after coming on to pitch the ninth inning for SFA. Starter Halden Maynard went four innings, allowing two runs on three hits with four strikeouts.
SFA looks to erase the tough loss in its home opener as the `Jacks open up a three-game series against UT-Martin Friday at 6:30 p.m. at Jaycees Field. The `Jacks and Skyhawks then meet up at 2 p.m. Saturday before the series finale Sunday at 1 p.m.